8th February 2014 at 15:59 #490349
Anonymous8th February 2014 at 15:59 #490350
Storm damage and flooding means that the West Country is today (February 8) effectively cut-off from the rest of the country by train.
The train lines are now closed in four separate places: Dawlish, Crewkerne, Taunton and Bridgwater.
It also means there are now no through trains running between London and Exeter because both rail lines (from Paddington and from Waterloo) are blocked.9th February 2014 at 07:04 #490351
It seems completing a bird survey was more important than strengthening known weak parts of the sea wall protecting the railway line?9th February 2014 at 09:57 #490352
Eric Pickles is stepping in to get things moving. When interviewed he mentioned more and bigger planes connecting to the west country.
Hope this will be a fillip for Flybe and other local carriers.9th February 2014 at 11:51 #490353
Eric Pickles getting things moving? That’s the best joke of the year so far.
You mean Eric Pickles appearing on TV apologising that the Somerset Levels were not dredged as farmers implored months ago as the government refused funding. I didn’t hear him apologising that maintenance of the sea wall at Dawlish was delayed due to the Environment Agency undertaking a bird survey.
When it comes to extra flights I am sure what the Pickles means to say was “Flybe announced yesterday it was doubling its flights from Newquay to Gatwick to 6 flights a day so it’s an ideal time to hijack this to make myself look good and dig the government out of a hole”.
What a clown.
Oh and did he say whether heads would roll at the Environment Agency? I presume Michael Gove would tell him he should first check whether the people running it are Tories.9th February 2014 at 12:05 #490354
Flybe will be using 118-seater Embraer 195s for the extra flights. The aircraft in question were being stored at Newquay after the carrier’s recent cut-backs which meant that capacity could easily be found.
When Business Traveller posted the story online last Friday, the plan was to run the extra flights for a two week period. But given the problems since then, one would imagine the extra flights continuing beyond that.
Perhaps this disaster will make the government realise the importance of aviation to the national infrastructure.
There was talk that householders affected by the floods be exempted from paying 20 per cent VAT for repairs.
Maybe the government should consider suspending APD on flights to and from the West Country during this period.9th February 2014 at 12:18 #490355
From South West Trains website:
Services resuming between Exeter St Davids and London Waterloo
Direct train services between Exeter and Waterloo will resume early this afternoon, with the first service planned to run at 12.25 from Exeter St Davids to London Waterloo. This follows extensive checks carried out across the landslip site at Crewkerne earlier this morning which has demonstrated that it is possible to re-open the line with trains running at a reduced speed.
Engineering teams will remain on site throughout Sunday and will be working overnight to make additional repairs. There may be some alterations to the train service on the morning of Monday 10 February to allow these works to be fully completed.10th February 2014 at 19:39 #490356
So now even Eric Pickles fellow ministers are accusing him of “grandstanding”.
Has Mr Pickles claimed credit for the fact that BA are flying the A380 yet?
Still at least we know know that the Environment Agency head is a former Labour minister so using “Gove Rules” he will soon be a gonner.
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